A Daughter of Haitian Immigrants, Claudine Gay to be Harvard’s 1st Black President, the 2nd woman

On Thursday, Harvard University announced that Claudine Gay would be its 30th president. She will be the first Black person and the second woman to lead an Ivy League school.

Claudine Gay has served as the university’s dean and a democracy scholar. She will be honored with the post of the institution’s President on 1st July 2023, replacing Lawrence Bacow, who is stepping down as he wants to spend more time with family.

She said in her speech,” I am absolutely humbled by the confidence that the governing board has placed in me,” she said. “I am also incredibly humbled by the prospect of succeeding President Bacow and leading this incredible institution.”

A daughter of Haitian immigrants, Ms. Gay, is regarded as a leading voice on the issue of American political participation. She has explored many issues, among which how a range of social and economic factors shape political views, and voting was one. She is also the founding chair of Harvard’s Inequality in America Initiative. It deals with the issues like the effects of child poverty and deprivation on educational opportunity and American inequality from a global perspective.

Mr. Gay will be the first Black President of an Ivy League school and the second woman after Ruth Simmons, who led Brown University from 2001 to 2012. Her appointment is remarkable as Black presidents lead very few U.S. universities. With Ms. Gay’s appointment, the number of women chiefs has exceeded the number of men chiefs of the eight Ivy League schools. 

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